The ever-changing modern world has brought with it an onslaught of advances and more convenience, both to people’s everyday lives and various professional spheres. In few places is this more apparent than in the medical field, where new technology is being utilized to combat disease and save lives. While there are general appliances, such as computer networks, which have seen their utility in a variety of workplaces. There is also a huge range of technologies that have been designed with the medical field specifically in-mind.
Some of these technologies have grown to become heavily relied upon, and they will likely only see an increasing amount of use and development as time passes. Meanwhile, other technologies quickly became obsolete, supplanted by superior alternatives. Therefore, knowing the benefits of the various technologies can enable you to fully evaluate the advantages of implementing them where possible and appropriate.
The Widespread Use of EMR
An electronic medical record (EMR) system, otherwise known as an electronic health record (EHR), is all the medical information about any given patient that’s been digitized and is easily accessible by being either web-based or server-based. Electronic medical records have several advantages; for example, they are easy to keep up-to-date and accessible, meaning more accurate care and medical help can be given to patients. Additionally, this leads to reduced costs due to the absence of paperwork and physical storage facilities. As computer technology has improved and file-sharing systems have become more prevalent, EMRs have only become more convenient to use, and therefore are more frequently applied by medical practitioners. A study from 2006 shows that nearly a quarter of physicians had embraced the use of electronic medical records, and that number has only increased since then.
Electronic medical records have uses outside of hospitals as well; they have increasing utility in care homes where they can be used to improve the quality of care, ensuring a comfortable life for residents. Residences such as Overland Court, which provides the best assisted living Boise has to offer, can utilize electronic medical records in order to provide effective medical care to their residents, with all the information they need from any of their previous physicians on hand. This way, not only can the residents feel more comfortable in placing the trust in their carers, their families can have more peace of mind, too.
The Increasing Utility of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Magnetic Resonance Imaging, known more widely in the form of MRI machines, is a technology that can be incredibly effective at detecting issues with the brain or spinal cord, issues that could very well become very serious if they go undetected. For that reason alone, MRI machines are very valuable within the medical field due to the great degree of visibility that they allow a medical professional in regards to the internal organs of the patient. However, MRI machines have not been without controversy and despite a steadily-increasing amount of use over time, several risks of MRI machines have been documented. These risks include the effect that the MRI machinery can have on metallic objects within its vicinity, which is the reason why patients need to be thoroughly vetted physically before being allowed to use the MRI machine. While this is often enough, safety measures extend to implants that the patient has – meaning that using the MRI altogether might not be an option for some people.
In addition to the physical risks that MRI machines can pose, there are also psychological factors at play. Patients with claustrophobia may find MRI machines to cause them a lot of stress due to the tight space they find themselves in throughout the process, as well as the large amount of noise emitted by the machinery.
The Evolution of Pacemakers
People living with cardiovascular problems are unfortunately not a rarity, especially as many people who have heart health issues are unaware of their condition. Fortunately, while this is a widespread problem, there have been great advances in recent years due to the emergence and refinement of pacemaker technology. Pacemakers are implants that are fitted to the heart in order to correct an irregular beat; if a beat is missed by the heart, for example, the pacemaker will send an electrical impulse to stimulate the heart. Though pacemakers aren’t new having been invented in the late 1950s, they have evolved over time to become more compact and sophisticated – achieving more and more impressive results while retaining its core functionality.
Either due to increased awareness and accessibility to them, or because of a rising level of medical conditions, the USA has seen an increase in the number of people who require pacemakers. While having the technology available to assist the patient is obviously very positive, the increased cost to the patient and the rising need for surgery in order to fit the implant opens up increased risks to the patients in other ways – meaning preventing heart problems, where possible, occurring in the first place could still be seen as preferable.
The Future of Genome Sequencing
With emerging technologies and promising new stories about how medical care could be revolutionized in the coming years appearing frequently, it is beneficial to look at what may be coming and how future developments could change the landscape. A good example of this is the introduction and discussion around genome sequencing, including the repercussions that it could go on to have. Genome sequencing enables professionals to closely inspect the information carried by DNA, allowing them to further understand the role that individual genomes play in the overall development of the organism. While in itself this practice lends itself towards a greater understanding of biological science in general, there are practical applications that could be seen in the future. Understanding how specific parts of the genome relate to genetic factors such as health issues means that one day this knowledge could be utilized to see them edited out. However, this is an activity that carries with it the burden of controversy with a strong argument being made for it leading to unethical usage.